Super Fly: The World's Smallest Superhero!: Super Fly, Book 1

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Super Fly: The World's Smallest Superhero!: Super Fly, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Underdog takes on bully in light, fun chapter book.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

A little bit of information about different insects, including exoskeletons, the relative strength of tiny creatures, and the resilience of cockroaches. 

Positive Messages

Underdogs can make the world a better -- and safer -- place by stepping forward and challenging wrongdoing. When faced with a threat, friends and family can find strength and comfort by working together. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Compassionate siblings, empathetic friends look out for each other and the larger world.

Violence & Scariness

Bullies beat up victims, throwing them and smashing them against walls, and one threatens to eat a classmate; parents and teachers seem unaware and uninvolved. Young girl is used as bait. Indestructible robots destroy major cities.

Language

Gross-out jokes play off the bug-centric world, including references to "poop" and the planet Uranus as gassy.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Super Fly: The World's Smallest Superhero! -- the first in a funny series about a humble hero -- is an approachable chapter book with a bit of gross humor, given the setting in a dump populated by insects. The initial conflict centers on an aggressive bully who harasses and beats up smaller classmates without consequences. 

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What's the story?

Eugene Flystein may not be very good at flying, but he’s a creative inventor of contraptions that turn boogers into frozen pizza and a self-changing diaper machine. He and his new friend, Fred Flea, keep getting picked on by Cornelius Cockroach, the biggest bully in the town of Stinkopolis. Eugene hopes to use his new invention, the Ultimo 6-9000, to increase his strength by 9,000 times so he can take on Cornelius -- but Cornelius gets zapped first and goes on a crime spree. It’s up to Super Fly and Fantastic Flea to stop Crazy Cockroach before he can take over the world.

Is it any good?

The small are mighty -- and mighty funny -- in Todd H. Doodler's cute chapter-book series about a nerdy fly taking on a predictably resilient bullying cockroach. Short, simple sentences, illustrations on every spread, and quickly moving chapters make SUPER FLY: THE WORLD’S SMALLEST SUPERHERO! a likely winner for very young readers.

Eugene; his sister, Elle; and his best friend, Fred, are kind and considerate and plenty heroic without the use of Eugene's invention. Kids will delight in the goofy, gross humor. This is a world where stale popcorn with spoiled butter is a treat. Charming black-and-white, cartoon-style artwork adds to the appeal.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Super Fly: The World's Smallest Superhero! compares with origin stories for other superheroes and villains. What do they have in common? How is this one unique?

  • Would the story be as funny if the characters were children? Would the bullying scenes feel different?

  • Try writing a story set in an insect's world.

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